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Food Security

U.S. food assistance purchased locally through the UN World Food Program (WFP).
U.S. food assistance purchased locally through the UN World Food Program (WFP).

Malawi, which ranks 173 out of 187 countries in the 2015 UN Development Program Human Development Index, is a low-income country with 41 percent of the population living in poverty.  The 2016 Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) report indicates that 6.5 million people are facing food insecurity in the country, requiring humanitarian food assistance for between three and nine months from July 2016 to March 2017. A further 1.1 million people are likely to deplete their productive assets if not provided with some form of food assistance. 

The Government of Malawi released a disaster declaration in April 2016 due to extreme drought conditions exacerbated by El Niño. High maize prices, widespread crop failures, and reduced income generating opportunities have caused populations in several areas to face Integrated Phase Classification Crisis (IPC) 3 and Stressed IPC 2 levels of food insecurity.  Households in IPC 3 are relying on food assistance and resorting to negative coping strategies such as selling assets, stealing food, and taking their children out of school, according to the Famine Early Warning System (FEWS NET). Food consumption gaps are expected to continue as food security deteriorates through the next lean season.

The Government of Malawi launched its Food Insecurity Response Plan on July 13, 2016 which is estimated to cost $396 million, of which $307.5 million is for humanitarian food insecurity needs. 

Last updated: April 21, 2017

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